The UK, France, Italy and Germany are defined as the principle European platform markets and account for around two-thirds (€636bn) of total European platform-held assets (€958bn).
However, the proportion of assets held on platforms in these countries accounted for by the top three fund groups varies significantly.
In the UK and France, the figure is 24% and 39% respectively, while in Italy and Germany these fund managers account for over half, 55% and 58% apiece.
When considered as a whole, consolidation across the continent is evident and according to data provider Lipper FMI the top 10 bestselling funds in Europe accounted for 23% of fund sales in 2012, compared to 8% in 2005.
This could, however, be attributed to the increased popularity of bond funds, a sector dominated by specialist fund managers, unlike the more competitive equities market.
There is also evidence of platform domination. Fidelity owns both UK-based FundsNetwork and Germany’s FIL Fondsbank, and has an aggregate asset holdings of €61bn. Allfunds dominates the southern European market, accounting for €80bn of total assets.
Further, despite the fact banks and insurers that control many of the largest platforms are increasing their offerings from rival providers, the top 20 platforms across Europe still account for 82% of all open architecture platform assets. Germany has been operating open architecture since 1994, but around 90% of bank fund sales in the country are of the bank’s proprietary funds, suggesting that these moves towards open architecture are not necessarily going to make a great difference.
Holly Mackay, chief executive of The Platforum, said: “We see growing concentration of platforms across Europe. The US market supports five platforms; the Australian platform market has shrunk from 30 a decade ago to 10 today. More than 70% of platforms anticipate that 65% of flows will go to just 10% of fund managers by 2015.”